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Plowing through History from the Aleph to the Tav

Topics Definition of Hebrew Words



Holy
By Jeff A. Benner
קָדוֹשׁ qadosh
This word is frequently translated as "holy," another abstract word. When we use the word holy, as in a holy person, we usually associate this with a righteous or pious person. If we use this concept when interpreting the word holy in the Hebrew Bible, then we are misreading the text, as this is not the meaning of the Hebrew word qadosh. Qadosh literally means "to be set apart for a special purpose". A related word, qedesh, is one who is also set apart for a special purpose but not in the same way we think of "holy," but is a prostitute (Deut 23:17). Israel was qadosh because they were separated from the other nations as servants of Elohiym. The furnishings in the tabernacle were also qadosh, as they were not to be used for anything except for the work in the tabernacle. While we may not think of ourselves as "holy," we are in fact set apart from the world to be Elohiym's servants and his representatives.

Strong's: #6918



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